European Stork Village 1999 - Mala and Velika Polana (Slovenia)
The two villages (approximately 1,420 inhabitants) are situated in the Pomurje region of the Drava and Mura rivers. The 3,500 hectares of the wetland complex surrounding these villages provide the ideal feeding grounds for the white stork, the symbol of this region, and make this the centre of Slovenia's breeding population. The orchid-rich meadows and floodplains, in which 23 endangered species of birds have been recorded, are the last remaining large grassland ecosystems in Slovenia. They are situated between the Important Bird Areas of Mura and Crni log, one of the largest continuous wet alder forests. Together
with this and the areas subject to flooding, the meadows form a single ecological unit. EuroNatur and DOPPS-Bird Life Slovenia are campaigning for the designation of an international Danube-Drava-Mura Biosphere Reserve to stretch across five countries from the Steiermark region of Austria to the Danube basin along the Serbian-Croatian border. 2,300 km2 already have protected status.
Nests on: houses, electricity poles
Stork festival: every year since 1999
Support measures: development plan for tourism compatible with nature
Further details: highest breeding density in Slovenia
Partners: DOPPS (Slovenian Ornithological Society)